Motif Knitting: Great for Knitted Baby Blankets, Knitted Accessories, and more!
I’ve been in love with Heather Zoppetti’s Tamarix Quilt since it first arrived in our offices back in 2010. The bold colors and clever design, knit with motifs that are either sewn together at the end or joined as you knit, is a great gift.
I knit this blanket for a friend who had a baby, using Berroco Vintage, a great superwash yarn that holds up nicely to whatever babies can throw at it. My color scheme is wildly different than the original, but I chose colors I know the new mom will love.
This was my first time really working with motif pieces like this. Motifs can be anything, really—small colorwork repeats are motifs, same with lace and cable repeats, and I’ve done projects using all of those. But the act of knitting separate pieces that are joined was new to me. I soon began to see how it would be beneficial—there I was, knitting a baby blanket, but only knitting one square at a time, so the project was portable and felt fast.
Motif knitting projects are great stashbusters. If you’re not tied to a particular color throughout an entire project, the combinations can be endless! The Tamarix Quilt uses four colors, but what if I had partial skeins of eight colors? I could just go crazy, mixing and matching colors and making things work. There are a couple of finished projects on Ravelry where people used more colors—there’s even one with ten colors!—and they are all unique and amazing.
I had motifs on the brain, and I used that inspiration to create a pattern compilation, called Interweave Knits presents 5 Accessory Patterns for Motif Knitting. Please note that the Tamarix Quilt is not in this collection, as I was trying to keep the projects small and relatively manageable, but it does include the chunky version of our incredibly popular Ojo de Dios Chunky shawl pattern!
Also in this pattern collection download is the Gingko Counterpane Shawl from designer Paula B. Levy. I’m imagining knitting this shawl in some leftover yarns I have—I went through and sorted leftover sock scraps into color families, and I think this would be amazing in my blue and purple color palette.
Daniela Nii’s Bistro Lace Stole is a great summer accessory—the light and airy open work means you won’t get too hot, and there’s plenty of options for customizations.
Two patterns that are simpler motifs, worked in one piece, are Quenna Lee’s Linocut Beret and Grace Akhrem’s Mama’s Socks. The Linocut Beret features a lace motif, similar to a counterpane pattern, and is knit from the brim up. Mama’s Socks are a great introduction to basic colorwork, using a color changing yarn to do all the work in a small heart-shaped motif.
To coincide with the launch of this eBook, we also have an Ojo de Dios Chunky Shawl Kit! In this kit, you can get the yarn to knit the Ojo de Dios Chunky Shawl and the eBook with all five patterns.
I’m really excited to have worked with Vanessa Ewing on getting the Ojo de Dios Chunky knitting pattern created for this eBook! The colors for this kit are a nice blend behind the desert-inspired colorway of the original Ojo de Dios shawl kit and the beautiful jewel tones version we also published. Vanessa was gracious enough to share some of her tips for working motifs and specifically the Ojo de Dios shawl, so I’ll be back later this week with more about this beautiful, versatile shawl. In the meantime, grab your kit and get ready to knit!